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# An Intrinsic Calculation For Algoma Central Corporation (TSE:ALC) Suggests It's 49% Undervalued

In this article we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of Algoma Central Corporation (TSE:ALC) by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today's value. I will be using the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Don't get put off by the jargon, the math behind it is actually quite straightforward.

Remember though, that there are many ways to estimate a company's value, and a DCF is just one method. If you want to learn more about discounted cash flow, the rationale behind this calculation can be read in detail in the Simply Wall St analysis model.

Check out our latest analysis for Algoma Central

### The model

We are going to use a two-stage DCF model, which, as the name states, takes into account two stages of growth. The first stage is generally a higher growth period which levels off heading towards the terminal value, captured in the second 'steady growth' period. To begin with, we have to get estimates of the next ten years of cash flows. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren't available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.

Generally we assume that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at a present value estimate:

#### 10-year free cash flow (FCF) forecast

 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 Levered FCF (CA\$, Millions) CA\$23.0m CA\$62.0m CA\$48.0m CA\$54.0m CA\$58.3m CA\$61.9m CA\$64.7m CA\$67.1m CA\$69.2m CA\$70.9m Growth Rate Estimate Source Analyst x2 Analyst x2 Analyst x1 Analyst x1 Est @ 8.01% Est @ 6.04% Est @ 4.66% Est @ 3.69% Est @ 3.02% Est @ 2.54% Present Value (CA\$, Millions) Discounted @ 7.5% CA\$21.4 CA\$53.6 CA\$38.6 CA\$40.4 CA\$40.6 CA\$40.0 CA\$38.9 CA\$37.5 CA\$35.9 CA\$34.3

("Est" = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = CA\$381m

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country's GDP growth. In this case we have used the 10-year government bond rate (1.4%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year 'growth' period, we discount future cash flows to today's value, using a cost of equity of 7.5%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF2029 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = CA\$71m× (1 + 1.4%) ÷ 7.5%– 1.4%) = CA\$1.2b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)10= CA\$1.2b÷ ( 1 + 7.5%)10= CA\$570m

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is CA\$951m. The last step is to then divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of CA\$12.8, the company appears quite good value at a 49% discount to where the stock price trades currently. Remember though, that this is just an approximate valuation, and like any complex formula - garbage in, garbage out.

### The assumptions

Now the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate, and of course, the actual cash flows. If you don't agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. The DCF also does not consider the possible cyclicality of an industry, or a company's future capital requirements, so it does not give a full picture of a company's potential performance. Given that we are looking at Algoma Central as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation we've used 7.5%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.121. Beta is a measure of a stock's volatility, compared to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta of globally comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

### Next Steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of building your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather it should be seen as a guide to "what assumptions need to be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?" If a company grows at a different rate, or if its cost of equity or risk free rate changes sharply, the output can look very different. What is the reason for the share price to differ from the intrinsic value? For Algoma Central, There are three relevant aspects you should further examine:

1. Financial Health: Does ALC have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
2. Future Earnings: How does ALC's growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
3. Other High Quality Alternatives: Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of ALC? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

PS. The Simply Wall St app conducts a discounted cash flow valuation for every stock on the TSX every day. If you want to find the calculation for other stocks just search here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.